June 17, 2008 / 7:54 PM / 12 years ago

J&J, American Red Cross settle emblem dispute

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson and the American Red Cross said on Tuesday they have agreed to end their legal dispute over use by the humanitarian organization of its internationally recognized emblem.

The resolution avoids a trial and potential appeal and allows both the diversified health-care company and the American Red Cross to continue to use the red cross on a field of white symbol.

The trademark infringement litigation involved claims by Johnson & Johnson and counterclaims by the American Red Cross over the symbol that both have used for more than a century.

The resolution accepts recent rulings by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff and sets aside any remaining disputes, both parties said.

Rakoff in his ruling said permission given by U.S. statute to the American Red Cross to use its logo did include commercial purposes such as sales of first-aid products to U.S. retailers.

“Johnson & Johnson brought the lawsuit very reluctantly only to protect what we believed were important trademark issues,” J&J Chief Executive William Weldon said in a statement.

“The decision of the court has brought clarity to those issues, including its ruling that Johnson & Johnson has properly used its valued Red Cross trademark over the years, and we have no desire to continue our dispute through trial and appeal,” Weldon said.

Reporting by Bill Berkrot, editing by Mark Porter

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